The benefit of going back to my parents hometown during Chinese New Year is the completely different atmosphere you get being back. Seeing that it is a small-ish town (getting bigger now as evident from McDonalds, Secret Recipe and even Old Town Kopitiam opening up) the rules are slightly more relaxed.
On the eve if Chinese New Year the town will be quite because everyone will be back home having their reunion dinner. However at 11.45pm the roads will start to get busy as people come out of their houses in anticipation of midnight.
Midnight is where everything starts to go wild. The amount of firecrackers/fireworks that is released into the skies is crazy. I think it can almost rival any of the fireworks during any of the big celebration.(Merdeka or Christmas). I am telling you it is like Merdeka day but instead of 4 or 5 spots there is a few thousands spots and each individual home light off their respective fireworks/firecrackers to scare away the ghost and to usher in the new year.
Setting up of the big red long firecrackers. In my hometown, every year and every house will have one. This year we were fortunate. We had 4 of them where 3 was given to us and 1 was bought by my uncle. I had the pleasure of litting one.
Now this is the stupid thing, the first one was lit by my cousin and there were no problems. Second one was lit by my bro and there was no problems either. The 3rd one they decided to allow me to light it. So i stepped up to the "plate" and struck the match. Make sure it was glowing orange before i approached the fuse. As i was trying to light the fuse, the red paper that was covering the little explosives caught fire. For a few seconds as i saw the paper burn and i was thinking should i run or should i try to light the fuse. Another 1 second pass and i saw the fuse lit and i got my arse out of there quick fast.
Something new about this year is they have the KongMing Lantern or the Sky Latern. I thought it was banned a couple years ago when a few was released and landed on the runway of the Bayan Lepas Airport in Penang. However my cousin was able to purchase some. The tradition with this Lantern is you write all your wishes on the lantern itself and send it up to the heavens for your wishes to come true.
Cousin instructing us on how we are suppose to light the candle and turn it over.
Moments before liftoff. Check out on the left side of the picture (the red ball of fire). Now during CNY eve, a few hundereds to thousands of them well light the whole sky around us and it will continue to go on till around 1am.
Our wishes going up and hopefully being granted. We didn't really wrire any of our wishes on the lantern but my cousin did. The lantern that we let go contained all the 4D numbers that we bought the previous day. It is obvious our wishes didn't come true. :)
Happy Chinese New Year everyone!